Academic counters Cheney's 'threat' remarks

(China Daily/Agencies)
Updated: 2007-02-24 08:49

China is committed to its goal of peaceful development, a Beijing academic said in response to Friday's remarks on the country's "military threat" by US Vice-President Dick Cheney.

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Despite Cheney's concern, China's foreign affairs goal is obvious: seeking a peaceful rise, according to Shi Yinhong, a professor at the School of International Studies at Beijing's Renmin University of China.

"The urgent matter for Sino-US relations is the trade problem rather than the military threat," said Shi, in an interview with China Daily on Friday.

At an Australian-American Leadership Dialogue in Sydney, Cheney praised China for its "especially important" role in striking an agreement at the recent Six-Party Talks in Beijing. Under the agreement, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is to seal its nuclear reactor and allow international inspections in exchange for fuel oil.

But Cheney, a leading architect in the Bush administration of the decision to invade Iraq, said China's "military build-up" and its missile test last month "are not consistent with China's stated goal of a peaceful rise".

As he stressed the importance of US forces remaining in Iraq, anti-war demonstrators clashed with police outside the hotel where Cheney was speaking.

Shi said Cheney's remarks on China's military threat may receive support from a few countries, but the global influence would not be substantial.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry previously said the missile test conducted on January 11 was done so for scientific purposes.

"On the space question, we have upheld the peaceful use of outer space and supported the strengthening of international exchanges and cooperation on the peaceful use of outer space," said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu, earlier. "We are firmly against weaponization and an arms race in outer space.

"We have never participated in an arms race of whatever form in outer space, nor will we do so in the future," she said at a news briefing before Spring Festival.

In recent years, China and Russia have joined many other countries in actively promoting the Disarmament Conference in Geneva to adopt an international legal document on the prevention of weaponization and an arms race in outer space through negotiation.

Cheney arrived in Australia after talks in Tokyo with Japanese prime minister.

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